Saturday, April 22, 2017

Colleges weigh in on Excelsior Scholarship

           The New York state budget was passed on April 9, allocating $153.1 billion in state funds. Part of the budget was the Excelsior Scholarship.
The Excelsior Scholarship will be available Fall 2017. Students, whose family income is under $100,000, will be eligible the first year. The program will expand over the next years to include families making up to $125,000 a year.
College students who do not receive enough New York Tuition Assistance Program funds and Federal Pell Grants will be given the Excelsior Scholarship. However, the scholarship is a Last Dollar Scholarship that will not be disbursed if the student’s grants surpass the cost of tuition.
Dean J. Reinhart, Ph.D., associate director of admissions at SUNY Buffalo State –located at 1300 Elmwood Ave., described its impact at the public institution.
“Over 90 percent of our students would be eligible, potentially. They’d meet the adjusted gross income as a family. You must keep in mind that the majority of those students already acquire full TAP, full Pell and this scholarship is known as the ‘Last Dollar’ in,” he said.
Steve Smith, director of undergraduate admissions at D’Youville College, questions the effect it will have on his campus, located at 320 Porter Ave.
“We don’t know what the impact is going to be. We understand that the nature of the scholarship is a number of requirements that the students need to fill post-graduation,” he said. “We hope that our array of health care programs here at D’Youville helps us stay competitive.”
Josh Larcom is a junior health and wellness major at Canisius College, 2001 Main St. He feels the Excelsior Scholarship would not have affected his decision to attend a private institution.
“If I were able to go to a SUNY school for free, yeah, maybe I would’ve thought about it,” Larcom said. “I still think I would have chosen Canisius.” By Dan Almasi, Nick Fass and Andrew Kuczkowski